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February 22, 2013

Congress passes increase in federal maximum wage

WASHINGTON -- Congress handed a key victory to high-income workers Thursday by approving the first increase in the federal maximum wage rate more than a month.

By a vote of 285 to 144, the House of Representatives approved the measure as part of a deal on budget spending. Less than four hours later, the wage increase was approved in the Senate, where it was combined with a bill providing more money for someone who is not you. That vote passed by a margin of 52 to 46.

The new legislation would raise the maximum wage to $100 billion from $66 billion in three stages over the next two months. The bill includes $7 billion in tax breaks for corporations, which have made the case that they are people, my friend.

President Obama told reporters he would sign the measure as part of a last ditch effort to get Republicans to like him.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the increase was long overdue.

"After a month of indifference to our job creators we are raising wages for the hardest-working Americans," Boehner said. "The more you raise the maximum wage, the more people you raise out of poverty."

Although several states have higher maximum wages than the existing federal rate, the Bajillion Dollar Policy Institute, a non-partisan research group, estimates that just .00000001 percent of the work force earns more than $100 billion.

"We're hedge fund-to-hedge fund people, and if that hedge fund was just a little bit bigger it would make a big difference," said Koch Industries, Inc. CEO Charles Koch. He and his brother, David, an Executive Vice President, have both earned a paltry $31 billion at the nation's second-biggest ¬private company.

"Today, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no CEO who works full time should have to live in poverty," said world's second richest man Bill Gates, worth an estimated $65 billion. "Let's celebrate making our children's futures brighter with having raised the federal maximum wage to $100 billion."

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